Integrated Library Systems (ILS); System Migration; Teams
Purpose: To determine if a team approach to a complex integrated library system (ILS) migration would result in a timely and successful outcome.
Brief Description: Changing needs and an aging integrated library system server platform prompted Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library to migrate to a new ILS. After considering several options, Himmelfarb decided to join with the George Washington University's Jacob Burns Law Library in their move to a hosted instance of Innovative Interface's Sierra ILS and Encore OPAC.
Though some separation of data and functionality could be achieved, there were several functions that would be shared between the two libraries' systems. A successful transition would depend upon both libraries':
- detailed knowledge of the system data
- determining essential functionality to preserve
- willingness to change and accommodate
Because the Law Library's Sierra migration was delayed until mid-December 2012 and Himmelfarb's pre-paid server maintenance was ending in March 2013, the window to accomplish migration was a short 12 weeks, prompting the decision to team-manage the migration.
Conclusion: Teams and organizational tools, including weekly meetings to discuss problems, ensured the timely completion of key assignments that were critical to meeting the Go Live date goal. The team approach allowed the work and decision-making to be distributed among a large percentage of the staff, creating a broader sense of ownership. Distribution of tasks allowed a high level of attention to detail necessary for an optimal outcome.
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